By alex hurrell
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Memories of cross-country runs wearing large blue bloomers and filing out of assembly to The Muppets theme tune were laughed over when 50 former pupils of North Walsham High School For Girls held a reunion at the weekend.
Pupils travelled from New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland and all over England to join the 50 Old Girls who met in the town’s King’s Arms pub for their first reunion since leaving the school some 35 years earlier.
A number of former staff also attended the event, including headmistress Mollie Whitworth, and teachers Janet Bradfield and Liz Nash (English), Chris Loukes (art), Julia Drury (history), and Bernard Denizet (French).
Pupils from the three 1974-intake classes and staff chatted over old times while 1970s music played in the background and they later tucked into a ’70s-themed buffet which included a cheese-and-pineapple-on-sticks hedgehog.
“It was far better than we ever expected - like stepping back in time” said Trudy Brookes (née Hughes), one of the organisers.
Sarah-Jane Holman was able to fly in from New Zealand to join her old schoolfriends after her husband surprised her with a plane ticket as a Christmas present.
And Amanda Culverhouse-Steadman-Strachan (née Steadman), who now lives in South Africa, combined the reunion with a visit to see family in England.
The old classmates also remembered that those who had behaved well were allowed to play croquet.
And, as they grew older, the girls were permitted into town from the school site - the present Lawns campus of Paston Sixth-Form College - for a set number of times each week.
“We used to write our names in pencil if we were going out and then guess what we did when we got back so that we could go out more times?” laughed Mrs Brookes.
A number of the former pupils went into the teaching and nursing professions, many have raised families and one, Dr Judith Pell, is now a science consultant and freelance editor.
Mrs Brookes said they had all pledged to meet up again, probably in about five years’ time.